Our Wedding And Beyond

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There are more pictures to see!  Clicking the link below will not work.  You will have to copy and paste it into your browser.  It should take you directly to the pictures.  I recommend viewing them in slideshow presentation (an option that will be on your right) as it's much easier.  If you have any trouble accessing them, please let me know!
Reception pictures:


Our entrance.

Us stumbling our way through the Waltz before giving up! LOL.

Flower girl Rachel having a ball! And there's Ivillage friend, Ginger behind her.

Eating our wonderfully delicious cake.

SpongeBob, our card holder (too fun!) and our cake. (Sorry, the picture is pixelated.)

Colleen's parents won the anniversary dance. They have been married 35 years!!

Kissing before the balloon release.

The balloon release. This was such a fun, unique thing that we did.

There go the balloons!!

The groomsmen sure did have fun with Jamie's car! LOL.

Pre warning:
What I wrote below is 100% honesty of how I felt after the wedding.  I heard from a few people that they thought it was too harsh, and apparently a lot of people got offended or hurt feelings from it, so if you're not up for the blunt truth, then don't read anymore.  If you're someone who got your feelings hurt, then I have to say that I think you read too much into it.
Jamie and I talked it over and decided that I would leave alone what I wrote instead of revising it or erasing it because what I wrote is how I feel.  I didn't write it to try to hurt anyone and I'm sorry if some people got their feelings hurt.  I am certainly not the type of person who would intentionally hurt anyone and so really for anyone who might have gotten upset over what you read, then I think you just took it too personally.  It was never directed towards anyone - it was just how I felt.  If you've never planned such a big event and put a lot of money and 17 loooong months of planning into something to try your best to make it fun for everyone and to make it as close to "perfect" as possible and then stood back to see things going wrong, then you wouldn't know what I felt like afterwards.  I never said that I didn't want anyone there.  Everyone who was there was invited for a reason:  because Jamie and I wanted them there.  But when I stood back and saw that no one was dancing that to me equals no one was having fun.  The same with people leaving early.  My biggest disappointment was that I really honestly thought that a lot of people were bored and didn't have fun.  I have later learned from sooo many people that they had such a blast, but still, the wedding didn't go as perfectly as I had hoped and planned for for so long, so I wrote down exactly what I felt.  I must say that if anyone took offense to what is written below, then you really just don't know me very well.  And I don't mean that at all in a mean way.  Again, I would never intentionally try to hurt anyone, so clearly I didn't write anything in hopes that "someone" would read it and know that I was mad at them.  I wasn't mad at anyone.  One of my friends read the whole thing and took no offense to it.  Instead she said, "I know things didn't go exactly how you planned them, but honestly, it was terrific and everyone had such a good time."  People who really know me will know that this was just me looking back on the wedding and will not take offense to any of it.

I was actually a little disappointed in the way the Reception went.  First of all, we had close to 100 people there and the only ones who were dancing were me and my Bridesmaids.  What was everyone else doing?  And why weren't they dancing?  It really upset me and made me think that no one was having fun.  I got Jamie out there as much as I could, which was nice, but even his friends didn't move from their seats.  It was quite disappointing.  Especially after I had taken so much time to personally select the songs that were played, in an effort to make sure everyone had fun and that there was a large variety of songs played.
There were lots of downs here though, unfortunately.  First of all, the DJ did not stick to the list.  When I went up and told him about it, he tried to tell me that the song that he was currently playing was on the list, which it was not.  He spent about a minute and a half flipping through the pages trying to find it, and of course he could not.  He said he would stick to the play list.  We walked away and immediately after, he played another song that wasn't on the list.  All through the reception, he kept repeating songs!  Not just one or two, but many.  I gave him a five page list of songs, trust me, there were plenty of songs to be played, no need to repeat!
We were doing an anniversary dance where all married couples would dance and the DJ was supposed to ask everyone who has been married less than a year to sit down, less than two years, five years, ten, etc.  He got to 30 and there were still like four couples dancing.  He went to 40 and everyone sat down.  He called the couples that had been married at least 30 years back out on the floor, so I thought for sure that he was going to go from there and say 31, 32, etc.  I mean, that's only common sense, I think.  But no!  He said, "You're all winners." and started playing new music.  I was livid!  I stomped over to him and said, "There was a reason for that dance!  The person who has been married the longest was supposed to get the prize!"  He said, "I know.  I don't know what to tell you."  I said, "Well common sense would say that after you pulled everyone who had been married at least thirty years back out on the dance floor, you count up from there to see who the winner is."  He gives me a damn attitude and says, "I don't know what to tell you.  I'll keep the gift!"  I was absolutely fuming.  I grabbed the gift out of his hands, stomped away, told Jamie I was pissed, and then went behind a curtain where I broke down in tears.  So for those of you who saw this scene, please don't think that I'm some crazy pyscho bride who freaks when she doesn't get something her way.  This was something that was very important to me.

The manager of Martin's came up to me, along with our hostess and asked me what they could do to make it better.  Thankfully he saved the day as he redid the anniversary dance and made all the announcements and let the winning couple (who had been married 35 years by the way) give their advice to us, as they were supposed to.  Guess the DJ never planned on doing that.  Of course since everyone had already done this the first time, I will say that there were some married couples who did not get back up the second time.  :(
All DJ's usually ask what songs you want played for the garter and bouquet toss.  The head of the DJ service we used also asked us this, but I suppose the DJ we got chose to ignore it because he did not play them.
We had way fun guest pages set out that we really wanted everyone to fill out and return to us.  Unfortunately, when we got home, I found a tremendous of them that were blank.  This also was a huge disappointment.  This was something that we had put a lot of thought into, and something that was very important to both of us.  It's upsetting to not get a page from everyone.
The good thing is that I have heard from so many girls on Ivillage that no one cares about favors and always leaves them on the tables.  I will say that we had guests leaving with more than just their bag of favors.  They were taking extras from the people who hadn't shown up.  LOL.  That at least really made me happy.
We had games there to be played.  I did not want our wedding to be the boring reception filled only with dancing, so I literally spent what seemed like forever online trying to find games that people would want to play that would make the reception more exciting and would break up the monotony.  Not as many people as I expected played them though, but at least they got some people who never even danced, up out of their seats once or twice.  At any rate, I thought they were fun and I had a good time.  Jamie did too, I know.
I have been to so many weddings that are the traditional four hour reception and they fly by.  I did not want my magical wedding day to be the same way, so Jamie and I paid for a  5 1/2 hour reception.  Very very disappointing when everyone started leaving early.  I actually made the decision to cut the reception short because I wanted to do a balloon release when we left (and Jamie and his groomsmen had gone to all the trouble of blowing them up), and I was afraid that when 5:00 rolled around, no one would be around to do it with.  So we ended the reception at around 4:00 and the wonderful guests that we had who had stayed that long, made up for the missing guests by grabbing large amounts of balloons.  I actually felt stupid when I walked outside with one balloon and everyone else was walking out with like twenty!  LOL.  But it made for an awesome photo and I loved it.  Of course the manager of Martin's had made the annoucement that I wanted to do a balloon release and asked everyone to grab some balloons and step outside.  We waited and waited and even though everyone wasn't out there, we assumed everyone that was going to come out had, so we went on with the balloon release.  About four minutes after the balloons had been let go, here comes a whole group of people with more balloons who had for some reason chose to come out when they wanted to, and not care that we were doing it right then, so we actually ended up with two balloon releases.
By the end of the day, I was tired of seeing people leave early, I was furious with our DJ, and I just wanted to leave!!  Jamie and I said our goodbyes, drove around the block and then came back to help clean up.  Yes, I had a good time.  I didn't care if no one else was dancing, I was, but I will say that there were some things that didn't go as I had hoped and had left me disappointed.  If I had to do it all over again, I wouldn't.  The ceremony was absolutely perfect except for the music mishap.  But as for the reception, I think we would've done something a lot more low key, with a lot less people:  around 40 or so.  At the end of the day, while looking back, it just wasn't worth it.  I did get some great compliments though from guests who said that our wedding was very unique and "happy" and that they could tell just by looking around at anything how much thought we had put into planning it all.  They noticed all the little touches that we did that everyone told us wouldn't matter because no one would notice.  They did.